Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Hope at Christmas

Some of us get depressed at Christmas. Perhaps we are missing friends and family, or we could be thinking of those who have passed on. Maybe that very un-Jewish manger scene gets you down. There are other circumstances that can get us down. However, Christians can remember the hope that we have.

Some of us get depresses around Christmas. We need to remember the hope that we have in Jesus.
Credit: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder
Step up on the hill and get a bigger picture. We have all sinned (Rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23) against the holy and righteous God, yet he has mercy on us. God the Son is the Creator (Col. 1:16, John 1:1-3), who humbled himself and took on human form (Phil 2:6-11) and died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). He bodily rose from the dead (Luke 24:6-7, Acts 2:32) and we are adopted as children of God (John 1:12-13, Rom. 8:15-17).

Yes, we have our down times, worse for some than others. We need to lift our focus off ourselves and our circumstances and remember what God has told us. We do have hope. Not only at Christmas, but always.
Even though some of us may feel lonely or isolated during the Christmas holidays, it’s important for us to remember the hope that Jesus brings. The Incarnation, God becoming a man, is the very reason why we have hope. Without Jesus, we have no hope and only death to look forward to (1 Thessalonians 4:13–14). But for those of us who are in Christ Jesus, we are no longer hopeless! Scripture says, “"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"” (1 Peter 1:3). This living hope is the hope and promise of eternal life (Titus 1:2) through Jesus Christ, “"our hope"” (1 Timothy 1:1). We have hope because Jesus came as a man, lived, died, and rose again.
To read the entire article (it's not very long, I know y'all are busy), click on "Jesus, the Hope of Christmas".

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Making Scripture Insufficient

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

This is one of those times when what appears to be a coincidence may be providential instead. Many of the past few posts have been about the authority of Scripture and how the Bible is under attack in one way or another. A short time later, I came across a two-part message on the sufficiency of Scripture that not only works with the other posts, but it is excellent by itself.

Although the Bible is sufficient for wisdom and Christian living, some people think they need to add philosophies of science and other strange teachings.
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos / Matt Banks
The messages that prompted this article are by Dr. John MacArthur. They were preached in 1985 and by my reckoning are more important today than they were all those years ago.

Christians need to read their Bibles. Although that is said frequently, many who profess faith in Christ are dismally lacking in knowledge and understanding of what Scripture says. God puts a strong emphasis on reading and meditating on the Bible because it not only helps us grow spiritually, but it imparts wisdom. Also, having the Word in your spirit gives wisdom for the things we need and decisions we make (Psalm 119:130). It helps keep us from deception as well.

There is a problem when people get the notion that the Bible is incomplete or insufficient, so they decide to add philosophies to clarify it. These can be "additional" testaments, the traditions of religious teachings, sign gifts and false miracles, mixing in Eastern religious beliefs, secular science, and more. While receiving good solid teaching is very important (after all, Paul wrote entire epistles to instruct pastors), biblical teachers trust and believe the Word of God so they can impart its wisdom to believers.

Although Dr. MacArthur did not emphasize science philosophies, there is a growing problem for Christians today of putting atheistic interpretations of man-made science ideas in the magisterial position over the Bible. If "science says" something (which "science" may "say" something different next year), well, the Bible is considered wrong. 

Similarly, many climate scientists base their spurious research on political agendas, emotionalism, and especially atheistic presuppositions. Important facts are ignored or suppressed. There are Christians as well as hysterical climate change cultists who fall into these traps. If God exists, they assume, he is not in control, does not have a plan, and it is up to us to save the world (cue superhero music). Strangely, some tinhorns try to twist the Bible and use it against us by saying that the Bible doesn't mention global warming, so let people who reject Scripture deal with it. That is galactically stupid reasoning. The Bible is sufficient and gives wisdom. Christians are constantly using scriptural principles for not only daily living, but true science and stewardship of the planet. And everything in between.

Things that are supposedly factual in science philosophies have a tendency to change, especially when doing so is expedient for the agendas of secularists. Likewise, "revelations" to false teachers are known to change. Look up Mormonism and others of this nature.

The Bible is the written Word of God, and it provides what Christians need. It is insulting and even blasphemous to add to the Bible or interpret it through the opinions of humans or trends. Now I would like to strongly urge you to listen to or download Dr. MacArthur's two sermons, "The Sufficiency of Scripture. You can download them here, but if you want to read the transcripts, just click on each title listed on that page and you can commence to reading.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christian Instruction Hindered by Evolutionism

A word that is common among Bible-believing teachers is edify. (This word has the same root as edifice.)These days, it generally means to instruct and build up people spiritually; a major part of The Question Evolution Project is to edify Christians, for example. Evolutionism hinders the edification of Christians.

Evolutionism is detrimental to Christian life and theology. We need to realize how Christian growth is hindered by this.
Credit: Pixabay / WikimediaImages
Climb up on yonder hill for a bigger perspective. Modern science was built on biblical principles, but Christians ceded science over to secularists when Darwin and Lyell came on the scene. In a comparatively short time, it was unfashionable to believe the Bible and to understand it properly. People didn't want to look ignorant, so they tried to mix the Bible and current trends of atheistic science views. Bad idea.

Today, people are confused and do not realize that they are damaging the core of the gospel message, and that compromising on the truth of creation is ridiculous because the evidence for recent creation is on the side of the creationists. 

A spell back, I asked a local pastor what his church's views were on creation. He essentially waved it off and it seemed like he rolled the dice and it landed on the foolish "Framework Hypothesis". While he apparently rejected evolution, his reaction told me that the pastor was uninformed about the importance of Genesis and that he was lacking in hermeneutics. This is just one example of how evolutionism and belief in long ages is harmful to Christian edification.
Can evolutionary theory be reconciled with the church’s basic functions of worship, evangelism, and the edification (building up) of believers? . . . How does it affect a believer’s growth in the Lord?
To read it all, click on "Evolutionism Maligns Christian Edification". 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Temptations of Jesus: It is Written

Christians who use their Bibles for more than just decorations and actually read them are familiar with the narratives concerning the temptations of Jesus by Satan. When tempted, Jesus replied with, "It is written". The Bible should be the foundation for our lives and conduct, and "It is written" should be second nature to us under many circumstances.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he responded with Scripture. We need to know and believe the Bibles as well as sound doctrine.
Satan Tried To Tempt Jesus by James Tissot
Jesus is an example to us. Even though he was God the Son, he knew Scripture. So did other people in the Bible. Someone may object that they were special and inspired by God, but we are to know the Bible which gives us life and guidance.

When I was a child, I was told that Satan could not enter a room that contained a Bible, which doesn't hold up when we see apostate churches loaded up with them in the pew racks. Also, Satan was able to step up his game by quoting Scripture as well, but took verses out of context as well as misquoted — just like he did in Eden (Gen. 3:1). Jesus knew what Scripture said, and responded to Satan with the corrected contexts. Note that Jesus also quoted from the books of Moses, which are under attack today; if they were incorrect, he certainly would have told us. We need to know and believe the Bible from the very first verse, as well as solid doctrine, then stand firm.
As well as showing Jesus’ total submission to the will of His Father, the Father was getting His Son ready for His Messianic ministry. Hebrews 2:18 tells us that “because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Thus, it needed to be manifest that Jesus was able to conquer Satan and all Satan’s temptations. Note that when God the Son took on human form in the Incarnation (Philippians 2:6–8), He was able to experience many things that were not possible of God in His divine essence, including being tempted, as the Gospels describe.
To read the rest, click on "The Jesus defence: 'It is written'".

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Creation from Way Up Yonder

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow. While we need to be thankful to God every day for his blessings, Thanksgiving is a special day and even a theological act. There have been times when I have suggested getting up on the hill — that is, a larger perspective. How about perspective from the International Space Station?

Sometimes we need to get far away and have a larger perspective. An astronaut who has seen Earth below provides his view of creation.
Captain Barry Wilmore image credit: NASA
I camped out on this article for a while, so at this point the 50th anniversaries have come and gone. The linked article was written prior to those events.

Captain Williams has logged many hours in space on the shuttle Atlantis and on the ISS. He reminds us that the creation itself was a miraculous event, as is our redemption in Jesus Christ. We can give him honor, glory, and worship forever. Take some time to thank him, pilgrim.
I’ve had the privilege few ever experience. To date, I’ve spent not just a few hours or a week in space, but 178 days. I lived there (most of the time on the space station) and had the opportunity to experience space. I’m often asked what perspective this gave me. Did I have a spiritual experience, a moment of enlightenment that freed me from the constraints of our planet?

I can say without question that one cannot help but be filled with awe at the beauty, majesty, and utter wonder of God’s magnificent creation while zipping around the planet 16 times a day at 17,500 mph. One of the most memorable experiences is the kaleidoscope of vivid colors that encircle the globe. It’s hard to put into words what one actually sees and experiences because our eyes detect light differently than can be recorded by cameras.
To read the full article or download the MP3, go to "To Space and Back—an Astronaut’s Perspective". 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Evangelism and Evolution

People tend to believe in an old earth and accept evolution, often shying away from scientific evidence to the contrary and affirming recent creation. To stand for creation and the young earth invites ridicule from folks who think they are "scientifically literate" and smarter than the rest of us. This is an impediment to evangelism.

When Christians are doing evangelism and mix in long ages and evolution, we are actually being detrimental to the gospel message.
Credit: Good Free Photos
Christians should know that people need Jesus. We are to preach repentance and faith for salvation, but when we compromise on the authority of Scripture and reject creation, we are tacitly admitting that we do not fully believe the Bible. Adding long ages and evolution to evangelism is detrimental to the gospel message.
Evolutionary ideas have religious implications. The atheistic notion that nature creates itself—from the Big Bang to the diversity of life on Earth—is contrary to the biblical truth that God created nature. Last month we saw how this strikes at the very doctrine of God. Evangelism deals directly with a person’s accountability to God. A person may indeed want to mentally deflect dealing with that impending reality. Evolutionism offers a Creator-denying, and thus conscience-appeasing, worldview that allows someone to live as if God doesn’t exist.
To read this important article in its entirety, click on "Evolutionism Contradicts Christian Evangelism".

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Inspiration and the Bible

We have moments when we feel inspired to do something, such as write an article or music, design an application, or somesuch. This kind of inspiration is far different than what is meant when Christians say the Bible is inspired. In that case, it is θεόπνευστος
theopneustos, which essentially means God-breathed. There is more to it than this.

Inspired is used to refer to Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Bible. There is obviously a big difference. We can examine the importance of biblical inspiration.
John Wycliffe reading his translation of the Bible to John of Gaunt, Ford Madox Brown, 1847
There are theological liberals and unbelievers who say that the Bible is inspired like other impressive human compositions, but is not all that special. They reject the inerrancy of Scripture, which leaves them in a world of hurt. After all, they cannot be consistent by rejecting creation, the Genesis Flood, miracles of Jesus, end-times prophecy, and other things — yet claiming that they trust in Christ for their eternal destiny! Atheists and other Bible-deniers seem to want to go to Hell, attempting to justify their suppression of truth by claiming that "the Bible is full of contradictions", but this pile of meadow muffins is easily shoveled away.

The different kind of inspiration between a Laura Ingalls Wilder or Riley B. King compared to the Bible is clear, but we still want to know what defines biblical inspiration. Some people think that God dictated it, as if he gave a whistle, told the author to sit down on yonder rock and write this stuff down. Not quite, since personalities and styles of various authors can be seen, but on occasion God did give a bit of dictation. There are other areas of consideration that may seem at first glance to threaten inerrancy and divine inspiration, but are actually items that need to be properly understood.
Most evangelical Christians would say the Bible is “inspired”. Yet if we scratch beneath the surface, most would be hard-pressed to explain, much less defend, the inspiration of Scripture. Many Christians only have a vague idea how we got from the original papyrus and parchment scrolls and letters to the leather-bound collection of documents we carry to church on Sundays.

Until relatively recently, this wasn’t a huge problem. But with the rise of Internet skepticism, anybody can copy a list of “100 Bible errors” and use it to assail their unsuspecting but well-meaning Christian ‘friends’. Thus, the average Christian needs to be more prepared to defend their faith. The good news is that the doctrine of inspiration is easy to explain, and with just a little effort you can confidently believe this important idea and easily defend it against the unsupported claims of unbelievers and skeptics when you are called to share your faith with them.
To read the rest, click on "The inspiration of Scripture comes in various forms".

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Cannabis and the Christian

There are many discussions and points of view using words like cannabis, hemp, marijuana, and so forth. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion, especially from those who want to legalize pot for recreation. Some Christians want to get high, others detest the idea.

Some people think there is nothing much wrong with cannabis, others may wonder why God created it in the first place. Here are some biblical perspectives.

I have struggled to learn the differences between hemp and marijuana. Some said that it's the same plant but the younger version is where the THC (the chemical that alters your state of consciousness) comes from, and the bigger ones become hemp. Not quite. Apparently versions of cannabis are virtually indistinguishable by sight, but hemp is legal in may places and does not require special growing conditions. It also has only a fraction of THC. This article seems reliable.

Unfortunately, pro-reefer folks seem to be like climate change cultists, anti-vaxxers, and evolutionists who ignore data that they dislike and cherry-pick information that seems to confirm their biases. There are also logic problems, such as saying, "You can drink alcohol and pot is better for you". Lousy comparison. For one thing, the doobie smoker is inhaling burning leaves and their carcinogens. Today's burning leaves are far more potent than hippies smoked at Woodstock, and the THC levels have been increasing over the years. Also, it is a controlled substance under US federal law; if your state legalized it, that's a mite confusing since the feds say, "Nuh-uh, you're breaking the law". EDIT: That was very recently changed.

Someone may complain that smoking weed is not mentioned in the Bible, so we can go ahead. No, we must use biblical principles, as God's Word is our foundation in all areas of life — including our thinking. In a Bible-believing worldview, we need to remember that drug use is a component in sorcery and witchcraft. God does not condone misuse of alcohol, so getting high one way or another is against what God teaches.

This issue is very complicated and can get confusing, especially when you factor in the dubious value of using CBD for relaxation and to alleviate pain. Yes, God created cannabis, and hemp has been very beneficial for textiles as well as (possibly) hemp seeds and oil.

Now I would like to turn you over to Dr. Jerry Bergman's article for some interesting perspective. 
With the recent legalization of the recreational use of the mind-altering drug cannabis in many states, and the legalization of its medical use in most states, questions arise about the drug from a creation-worldview standpoint. The main psychoactive component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). One major question is, why did God create drugs that are poisonous or that can cause harm? Poisonous substances include anything that can physically harm us if we inhale, swallow or touch it. They range from bee stings to cyanide poisoning.
I hope you will read the rest of "Why Did God Create Cannabis?"

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Scriptural Truth can be Clearly Seen

As we have seen, major movements seldom happen at one specific moment in time. The Reformation is considered to have begun on October 31, 1517, but some of the groundwork was established years before by people like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale. (Aspects of the Reformation continued after Luther's time.) A major focus of the Reformation was the clarity of Scripture.

One of the primary messages of the Reformers and their forerunners is that the Bible was meant to be understood by regular people, not just scholars, for salvation and instruction.
Credit: Freeimages / Jorge Avina
The expensive word for this is perspicuity. The Bible can be clearly understood regarding important doctrines even by us reg'lar folk, but it also contains a wealth of information to keep someone growing in faith and understanding for a lifetime. The Roman Catholic Church did not want the people to know what Scripture really said, and it fought to keep the Word of God out of the hands of the people. (For that matter, look at how cults tell people that the Bible can be understood only through their sources and people should not read it for themselves. Some even have their own spurious translations.) People who want to make it say that the earth is billions of years old are denying the perspicuity of the Bible. God made his Word available and understandable.
The Reformers, first and foremost, gave their lives for the supremacy of the Scriptures over the prevailing traditions of their day. Often this is referred to as Sola Scriptura (“the Scriptures alone”; see 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16; Colossians 2:8). This doctrine was followed by Sola Fide, that is, “the just shall live by faith” (see Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 10:38), and then by the supremacy of the common believer over an exclusive priesthood . . .
These doctrines work together. The average person’s ability to understand Scripture by faith alone is closely tied to perspicuity, and this doctrine continues its importance into our day. . . . 
Historic doctrinal statements of major Protestant denominations—Lutherans, Presbyterians, Reformed, Congregationalists, Baptists, and others—all echo the refrain that the Scripture is self-authenticating to the sincere, searching heart in matters pertaining to redemption and personal growth in godliness.
To read the entire article, click on "Truth Everyone Can See".

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Christian Worship and Evolution

The natural response of those who believe in salvation through Jesus Christ aone is worship. It should not be necessary to consider who or what God is, we should know that God is our Creator and Redeemer. When people in the Bible were in the presence of the Almighty, they were overcome with a sense of their own unworthiness, reverence, and tremendous awe. They worshiped him.

When professing Christians mix long ages and evolution with the Bible, they are seriously contaminating worship of Almighty God.
Credit: Unsplash / Diana Simumpande
Indeed, ancient Christian creeds like the Apostolic and Nicene begin by affirming that God is our Creator. Unfortunately, too many professing Christians have chosen reject biblical authority. They ride the owlhoot trail and try to mix long ages and evolution with biblical Christianity. This contaminates true worship. It also demonstrates ignorance of the Bible's plain teachings as well as adding atheistic interpretations of modern science philosophies to their worship. How confused is that? God is not weak and did not need millions of years to cause life to evolve, nor did he let us be deceived by Scripture until atheists told us what really happened regarding origins.

Before I give an excerpt of the featured article, I want to share a couple of related videos. Neither one is short, but both are interesting and helpful. Ken Ham had a debate with a Reasons to Believe representative named Jeff Zweerink. Although I think Ham left some things out that could have been said, he did a good job. You can tell that Zweerink was uncomfortable and incoherent when justifying his compromises. To watch this video and read the article, click on "Watch Ken Ham Debate Jeff Zweerink of Reasons to Believe". The other video is by Dr. Albert Mohler as he addresses the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on God's creation of male and female in his image. Although there are items specific for Southern Baptist doctrines, the message is important to the church as a whole. To hear this, click on "Male and Female Created He Them".

Now, about that problem with worship and evolution...
At Moody Bible Institute, I was taught the church’s mission could be organized into three basic functions: worship, evangelism, and the edification (building up) of believers. If a church undertook an activity that couldn’t reasonably be plugged into one of those functions, then that activity was a distraction from its mission. Have you ever considered the effect evolution has on our worship of God?
You can finish reading by clicking on "Evolutionism Poisons Christian Worship".

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Reason and Faith

Something I emphasize that is very important is definitions, as regular readers of this site and especially Piltdown Superman have read. I have noticed an increase in the tactics of theological liberals, political leftists, climate change cultists, evolutionists, and atheists to make an assertion of a false definition and build illogical but passionate arguments from there. Here, we look at faith.

Atheists like to ridicule Christians and creationists for having faith. This is based on their redefinition of the word. Worse for atheists and evolutionists, they have faith of their own.
Credit: Pixabay / Orlando
"Didn't you date Faith's sister, Cowboy Bob?"

I did have a date that woman. I wanted to, though. Let's leave personal history aside and move on.

Atheists essentially proclaim themselves as harbingers of reason. When pressed to give logical arguments, they proceed to produce logical fallacies by the bushel. Atheists and evolutionists insist on conflating science with naturalism, then proclaiming that anything to do with God is not scientific. They also denigrate presuppositional apologetics where Christians have the Word of God as their ultimate starting point, but they are hardcore presuppositionalists themselves, proclaiming godless naturalism as their starting point. The same thing happens when discussing faith. Secularists do have faith, but they have redefined the word in a derogatory manner to distance themselves from it.

Charles Darwin exhibited a wishful thinking type of faith when he admitted that he did not have scientific evidence to support his views (such as the fossil record). Evolutionists frequently use a kind of "science of the gaps" faith to fill in the missing evidence: science will find what is needed someday. Believing in such things without evidence is not science, it is blind faith, pilgrim.

When accusing Christians and creationists of not using reason, they are misrepresenting our positions. Faith is ridiculed, but it is essentially a straw man because what they call faith has nothing to do with real faith.
Atheists often accuse Christians of believing things or having “faith” without evidence and like to remind them of the old adage: “faith is believing what you know is not true.” In the eyes of many atheists, “faith” has become a buzzword for putting your intellect out of gear and for believing something without any reason or evidence for it (i.e., blind faith). For example, atheist and scientist Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, argues that faith is separate from reason and is the absence of evidence:
Faith is nothing more than the license that religious people give one another to believe such propositions when reasons fail. . . . When we find reliable ways to make human beings more loving, less fearful, and genuinely enraptured by the fact of our appearance in the cosmos, we will have no need for divisive religious myths.
On a more popular level this argument is used by the atheist activist Aron Ra, best known for his YouTube videos, who defines faith in a similar fashion to Harris:. . . 
. . .
A favorite proof-text by atheists (including Ra) to argue that Christians believe without evidence is the apostles Paul’s words: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). However, Paul is not suggesting that Christians take a blind leap of faith.
. . . 
Although these atheists may have heard sincere Christians wrongly say things like, “oh, you just have to have faith” as if they didn’t need evidence for their belief, this is not supported by the meaning of the words faith or belief that is found in the New Testament.
To read the article in its entirety, click on "Are Atheists Right? Is Faith the Absence of Reason/Evidence?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Evidence and Asking Questions

In the area of Christian apologetics, we make reasoned defenses for the truth of the Bible and special creation. It is the nature of this work to have people ask questions (1 Peter 3:15). Skeptics often try to come up with loaded or trick questions, saying that they "lack belief" for the existence of God. Such a claim can be met.

When atheists and other unbelievers say they "lack belief" and try to put us on the defensive, we can ask some very pointed questions of those who want to learn.

Although it is presented as neutral, the unbeliever is making a claim with the "lack belief" statement. Someone who lacks belief is actually saying that the evidence does not exist for the existence of God, the truth of Scripture, creation science, and so forth. Similarly, that person may also be indicating that there is no evidence that he or she finds satisfying. Arguing to meet personal preferences is often pointless, as they have apparently already reached a decision to suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).

Many times, misotheists try to put us on the defensive, but we don't need to cower to their "wisdom". 
Evolution is often invoked to make atheism appear rational. Origins is not operational science, but is instead forensic science. This is important to discuss, but there are times the subject should be stowed back in the covered wagon for a spell.

For people who are serious about having a discussion, we can ask questions of them. No, we are not willing to use "neutral ground" or put God on trial. Nor are we going to indulge a "Prove to me that God exists, scientifically" demand because that not only shows unbelief, but it also reveals their lack of logic because it is the category error (an equivocation fallacy; God is not subject to physical analysis). We must not act like we are interrogators for a police unit. Keep it in balance by sanctifying God and engaging with the person.
Skeptics and unbelievers in the modern era almost always make the same claim about their unbelief: they say they would believe if there were only sufficient evidence for God’s existence. They claim to have examined all the supposed evidence out there and found it all unsatisfactory. There is one simple question that anyone can ask such skeptics, however, that very often stops them dead in their tracks:
To learn more, you can read the entire article by clicking on "A Detective’s Approach: Looking for evidence of God". A related post is "Asking Questions to Reveal Answers".

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Creationists Giving Glory to God

We read in the Bible hear sermons, and read articles that mention the glory of God. It is actually a very involved concept, beyond just "making God look good". Other people and I want to glorify God in our lives and what we write. It is a fair question to wonder if biblical creation science glorifies God.

As Christians, we must seek to give God glory and not steal it from him by compromising with false teachings. Biblical creation helps to glorify God.
Credit: RGBStock / Archbob
A big part of God's people giving him glory is reflecting his attributes. We must not steal his glory by proclaiming falsehoods instead of the truth, such as compromising on deep time and evolution when his Word clearly shows us otherwise.
Recent creation glorifies God because it acknowledges His accuracy as a divine Author. By accuracy I mean telling it like it is. What kind of God would inspire His prophet Moses to record “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” if in fact nature made the heavens and the earth over billions of years? And if God failed to fact-check Genesis and Exodus, then what other mistakes might He have made elsewhere in His Word?
 To read the entire article, click on "Does Biblical Creation Help Us Glorify God?"

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Praying to Plants?

This is one of those times when we may wonder if the apostasy of the end times is upon us, especially with the extremely rapid moral decline in society. It is one thing for people to have no concern or even contempt for God, but to pray and confess our sins to plants?

When alleged Christians begin praying to plants, you can be reasonably sure that they have rejected their foundations.
Credit: freestocks.org
Some Native Americans would pray to the spirits of the animals they had killed, and they had other elements of pantheism and animism in their eclectic religions. Now some global warming activists and owlhoots at an allegedly Christian seminary are having people confess their sins to plants. Union Theological Seminary was, for a short time, orthodox in its theology until it became extremely liberal. They are the ones involved in these shenanigans.

Let's ride up on the hill and look at the bigger view for a spell. We have to look all the way back to Genesis, where God gave us dominion and stewardship over creation. Plants were created on the third day of creation week, with land animals and, ultimately, humans on the sixth day. Biblically, plants are not alive in the sense of nephesh chayyāh (נפש חיה), having the breath of life. This term is used for humans and animals, but never for plants. I'll allow that it may seem that way at times, since plants actually communicate (for example, see "Tree Mail in the Wood Wide Web"). They are not sentient beings, despite the desires of New Age foolishness.

Further, there were no carnivores at the very beginning (Gen 1:29-30). This happened after the Fall where Adam and Eve's sin affected all creation. People started gnawing on critters after the Flood (Gen. 9:2-3). Nothing in the Bible about praying to animals or people, but only to God.

Not only have these "spiritual" people abandoned the foundations of the Christian faith, they are also using evolutionary thinking. According to them, we all came from a common ancestor, so humans are not special in their worldview. It is a strange mix of atheistic materialism and pagan religious practices to have so-called Christians confessing "sins" to plants. That's not how it work, pilgrim.

I would like to turn you over to the inspiration for this here post, Dr. Albert Mohler. He has three segments in his podcast that are downright startling: Part I: "Union Theological Seminary Confesses Sin to Plants: If You Do Not Worship the Creator, You Will Worship the Creation". Part II: "The Worldview of the ‘Corn Mother’ — A Sign of Cultural Insanity". Part III" Do Plants Talk to You? One Scientist Insists that They Speak to Her". I'd be much obliged if you would listen online, download the MP3, or read the transcript. To do this, click on The Briefing Thursday, September 19, 2019.

As for me and probably most rational people, I am going to pray to the giver of food, not to the food itself.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Christians and Philosophy

Cowboys riding the long trail usually clam up, but once in a while, someone commences philosophizing. When the subject is met with little more than grunts from the others, silence ensues again. If you study on it, it seems that everybody has a philosophy of some sort. There are many philosophers throughout history, and many are relegated to history books.

Some people are put off by philosophy, some do not care, some are enthusiastic. The Bible actually has a great deal to say about it.
Le Philosophe by Henri Martin
When people talk about philosophers, images of smug intellectuals taking solitary walks and pondering, or discussing their versions of the meaning of life while smoking pipes. I have stated that I find philosophy useless because I have no use for the ideas of Kierkegaard, Rousseau, Kant, and so on. However, I learned a few things about philosophy since then, especially the practice and purpose.

Some folks shy away from philosophy as ungodly, referring to Colossians 2:8. Context, people! Chasing after worldly philosophies can be very harmful, but the Bible is actually loaded with philosophy. Regular readers know that I emphasize logic, which is a branch of philosophy. So are ethics (morality, right and wrong), the nature of reality, and the study of knowledge.

"But Cowboy Bob, I don't care a whit about philosophy. I study science!"

Science is a philosophical means of interpreting evidence according to one's worldview. Also, ask the scientist who has a doctorate what PhD stands for. So, someone who shuns philosophy in favor of science is still doing philosophy.

Just like having some knowledge of evolution is important for a biblical creationist (many creationist scientists are former atheist evolutionists), a knowledge of some of the basic secular views can be helpful. Remember, however, that true wisdom and knowledge are found in God's Word.
A colleague of mine once said, “Stay away from philosophy.  The Bible says that philosophy is bad and that we should avoid it.”  But does the Bible really say that?  What exactly is philosophy, and what does the Bible really say about it?
The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the Greek word meaning “love of knowledge” or “love of wisdom.”  In this sense, the Bible is very pro-philosophy.  The Bible commends obtaining both knowledge and wisdom.  Proverbs 2:6 states, “For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  Proverbs 3:13 states, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.”  But what is meant by the English word ‘philosophy’ and does the Bible really condemn it?
To read the rest, click on "Beware of Philosophy!"

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Listen to my Bible Story?

Our choice of words is vital when we want to communicate about important subjects. An important reason of this is the connotations of words. For example, my mother took exception to my description of a fragrance: it reeks. It did reek, but that word implies that the fragrance was unpleasant.

Words change their meanings over time, and have different associations now than they had before. One of these is the word "story".
Credit: Clker clipart
Words change their meanings over the years. One example is in Genesis 1:28 KJV, where God commanded mankind and animals to replenish the earth. Back in 1611, that was understood to mean fill, but newer translations avoid replenish. In A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story, "The Adventure of Black Peter", we read: "The outhouse was the simplest of dwellings, wooden-walled, shingle-roofed, one window beside the door and one on the farther side. Stanley Hopkins drew the key from his pocket and had stooped to the lock, when he paused with a look of attention and surprise upon his face." As Americans can probably see, an outhouse is more aptly named than the American, uh, relief station.

Our focus is the word story. It has several meanings, including a valid historical account, but it can also mean fictions that cowboys tell while riding the trail back to Dodge. I was told a story (as in, "We want to tell you our experience") about two American sisters visiting another country. The tour guide presented something rather fanciful, and one sister said to the other, "That's a story!" Problem was, the guide had just stopped talking and many people heard the remark.

It has reached a point now that when we tell Bible stories such as Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Resurrection, and others, people tend to think of them as cute and fun, not as important historical events. I'll allow that it's a mite frustrating at times to avoid referring to the story of Jesus changing water into wine because of the positive use of the word story. We need to do a rethink, and find valid substitutes so people — especially children — know that these are not simple entertainment when we are doing serious apologetics. Fortunately, the article linked below gives us a few options.
I grew up with Bible “stories.” I heard them in Sunday School and youth programs. I read books about Bible “stories.” I was taught about Bible “stories” for years and years. People have compared Bible stories with other stories and fictional movies like the Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Aesop’s Fables, or Star Wars. I even talked about Bible “stories” when teaching in the past.

But all that changed.

One day I made a comment about the evolutionary “story.” I had a man come up to me, and he was clearly not happy. He was very upset that I had called evolution a “story,” because to him, it wasn’t a “story” but the “truth.” He was okay with me calling biblical accounts “stories,” because, as he put it, ”the Bible was full of myths and fictional accounts so they could rightly be called stories.” But how dare I call evolution “a story” in his view.
To finish reading, click on "What’s Wrong with the Word Story?" And please get rid of those dreadful bathtub-style cutesie Noah's Ark things. Don't you want the kids to take the Flood and God's Judgment seriously?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Science and the Depravity of Man

It is interesting and sometimes fun to identify ways in which scientists have discovered things that were in the Bible long before. Yes, we know, the Bible is not a science textbook. When scientific items are mentioned, however, it is always correct. It seems that scientists are learning about human depravity.

Another place where secular science inadvertently supports the Bible is the depravity of man. They may begin to realize that materialism cannot produce moraltiy.
Credit: Freeimages / Cyan Li
God's Word tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart of man is (depending on the translation) desperately sick, wicked corrupt, incurable. Our righteousness is repulsive to God (Isaiah 64:6, Psalm 10:4, Ephesians 2:1-5). We may have the notion that we are good people and God looks on us fondly, bragging to the angels about how wonderful we are, but that is the opposite of the truth. Our hearts are deceitful and corrupt, and we think we are doing good things for the right reasons, but that's not necessarily the case. Sure, sometimes people will do great things, but that is because God has placed knowledge of himself in our hearts (Romans 2:15), even though people try to suppress knowledge of God (Romans 1:18).

A major tenet of several denominations is often called the total depravity of man. That name is a mite misleading because some folks may take it to mean that nobody does anything good, ever, but Jesus shows in Luke 11:11-13 that we are capable of some good. But we are likely to do something rotten. That's why we have jails and such.

There are people who claim that they do not need the Bible to give them morality, that they have it in themselves — such a claim supports the Bible. Others say that they get their morality from evolution instead of the Creator. Survival of the fittest? That justifies all sorts of wickedness, including lying, cheating, stealing, even murder. If those things help someone to survive, why not do them? Indeed, atheism, evolutionism, and materialism cannot account for morality; if someone is helping himself survive better, the materialist cannot be consistent in his or her worldview by raising objections to being on the receiving end.

Since secularists deny God, they attempt to alleviate human problems with social programs, psychology. Their false salvation fails almost from the onset, and cannot replace the real thing. Some researchers have confirmed what God has told us all along about human nature. They conducted some rather interesting studies.
Science reveals that people are just like what the Bible says they are: image-bearers of their Creator, yet fallen into sin.

If evolution is true, people would be incapable of apprehending objective reality or agreeing on immutable moral standards. They would be selfish and concerned only with survival. If the Bible is true, by contrast, people would be exceptionally noble above the animals, would have an innate sense of right and wrong, and yet would have a bent toward sin that could be overcome by trust and obedience in their Maker (in this life, at least partially). Evaluate the likely correct view, considering these recent empirical observations.
To read the rest, click on "Science Confirms Biblical Human Nature". A short article fits this subject well, "Psychologist Confirms Depravity of Man". Finally, "Secular Materialism vs Morality", which has a satirical piece by David F. Coppedge on cannibal rights in the future.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Virtue Signaling and Denying Genesis

A prideful trend in religious circles is virtue signaling. People want attention for being trendy, and this humanistic trend also appears among anti-creationists.
by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Over the years, this child has had to endure new expressions while riding the Christian Life Trail. Members of the body of Christ  have been lacking in their commitment to the Word of God almost from the get-go, as the early epistles will attest. It seems that things are getting worse nowadays.

Some of the new expressions include woke and wokeness, critical race theory, and other anti-Christian humanistic philosophies that are found mostly on the political left and with liberal professing Christians. A large part of that is virtue signaling, which involves prideful "dig me!" trumpet sounding from those who seek the approval of men instead of proclaiming the truth and authority of Scripture. When these signals and philosophies come from professing Christians, they are even more disgusting than when leftists scream in the streets.

Notice how there has been a great deal of news lately about professing Christians who have apostatized such as Michael and Lisa Gungor, Marty Samson, Joshua Harris, and others. Further, in my experience, atheists are becoming angrier and more obstreperous. Leftists are becoming more and more extreme about upholding behaviors that God hates, and our religious liberty is under attack even in America. Seems to me that these things are connected.

All major Christian doctrines have threads leading back to Genesis. You can have a discussion with a professing atheist, and when it comes to showing how their mythologies of origins (including the Big Bang and universal common ancestor evolution), they really get on the prod. Sanctimonious owlhoots make a pretense at religion, put on the "Why can't we all just get along?" masque, then ride for the Darwin brand. They team up with atheists to ridicule biblical creationists. These alleged Christians who attack us also do a whole heap of virtue signaling: they reject Genesis for the applause of God's enemies, then brag about how they are more intelligent and spiritual. How perverse is that?

Phil Johnson presented a talk that was very informative and useful to the Bible-believing Christian. I'd be very much obliged if you'd spend just over half an hour hearing what he has to say. You can watch the video here, or listen to it on SoundCloud. If you click on the "More" button, there is an option to download the MP3. Also, here is his short article on the subject. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Confronting Atheistic Worldviews

When engaging your typical internet village atheist, the Christian apologist seldom encounters rational discussion. To use a common expression, I have found that these professing atheists are control freaks. Not only do they insist that their worldview is superior to ours because atheism, they are hostile to our presentations of reason.

Sometimes atheists wish to have rational discussions, preferring instead to justify their rebellion against God. Challenge their worldview and keep them on topic.
Credit: Pixabay / Arek Socha
Atheists and other anti-creationists attempt to justify their worldviews and morality by attacking God and simultaneously saying they "lack belief" in his existence and creation. Evidence for his existence is rejected based on their materialistic presuppositions, not because of flaws in our logic or the evidence. The use of presuppositional apologetics is something that really puts burrs under their saddles because we give critiques of their worldviews, expose flaws in their epistemology, point out logical fallacies, and especially because we stand on the authority of God's Word. 

Some get downright nasty when they are challenged. One creepy anti-creationist was defeated because he could not cogently respond to my challenges; his misrepresentations and failures can be seen here, and some examples of his logic failures are here. One of those was when he claimed that I was lying, so I posted that even if I was, how would that be wrong in his worldview? He was unable to answer.

Here is another example. This rancorous owlhoot refused to read the material and was harassing someone else who commented on a post. Like others, he demanded that I answer his objections, making me his errand boy:

Click for larger
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes,
text enhanced because text on original screenshot was too faint
From my experience and learning, I see that people get on the prod when their excuses for rebellion against God and biblical authority are challenged. I've been subjected to bullying and manipulation before, so I was not having it. This guy, like others, needs to humble himself and repent.

In many discussions and "debates", atheists and anti-creationists are given answers and then jump around like they are fleeing a brush fire. Hitler's alleged Christianity is often invoked. The following article that I learned about from The Domain for Truth contains a written discussion between a Christian and an atheist. Note how the Christian uses presuppositional apologetics and calls out the atheist on his bad reasoning. It's very interesting and I hope it will be helpful to you. Note that I am not endorsing the entire site, I don't even know the identities of the authors. To read it, click on Got Mittens — I mean, "Gott mit uns".